Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh: Monday Night Raw 8/15/94

*** Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh reviews are a chronological look back at WWE PPV and TV history that began with a review of WrestleMania I. The PICs have revisited these events and refreshed all of their fun facts that provide insight into the match, competitors and state of the company as well as their overviews of the match action and opinions and thoughts on the outcomes. In addition, Jeff Jarvis assists in compiling historical information and the Fun Facts in each of the reviews. Also, be sure to leave feedback on the reviews at our Facebook page. Enjoy! ***

Monday Night Raw #75

August 15, 1994
Lowell Auditorium
Lowell, MA
Announcers: Vince McMahon & Randy Savage

1) 1-2-3 Kid defeats Owen Hart via disqualification at 11:57

Fun Fact: On the 7/11 episode of RAW, Bret Hart defeated the 1-2-3 Kid, despite interference from Owen Hart and Jim Neidhart. Owen continues to try to show that he can do everything that his big brother can do by facing off with the Kid tonight.

Scott: This immediately strikes you as at least a four star match, considering the Kid had a five star match with his brother a little over a month ago. The match is going at a much faster pace than the other match, mostly because this is a traditional heel-face matchup with the Anvil at ringside. The Kid worked Owen over early on but then the Anvil’s interference changed everything and the King of Harts spent the next several minutes torturing the Kid with strikes and illegal blows with the post while Jim Neidhart is distracting the referee. The match was actually going pretty well as the Kid sold everything being thrown at him, and then made a great comeback until Neidhart came in to force the DQ and beat down the Kid. With the match over, Owen & Anvil lay the business into the Kid and then the King of Harts puts him in the Sharpshooter and won’t let go of it until officials break it up. Owen loses, but in two weeks he wrestles the match of his life in Chicago. This wasn’t nearly as good as Kid-Bret, but not bad. Grade: **1/2

JT: We are just two weeks away from this year’s SummerSlam but this will be our final official episode of Monday Night Raw. And also, we are live inside a very hot and rowdy Lowell Auditorium and leading us through the show as always are Vince McMahon and Randy Savage. The card for Chicago is locked in so these final weeks will be focused on building any remaining heat that we can on the matches. And we also waste no time getting things rolling here tonight as Owen Hart is yet again looking to do something his brother Bret did: Beat the 1-2-3 Kid on Raw. Of course, the Hitman bested Kid to retain the WWF Title in an excellent match a month or so ago and now Owen wants to prove he too can get the job done. This is also a rematch from their fun, hard hitting KOTR sprint, so there is some nice storyline tics backed into this one. Of course, Owen is flanked by Jim Neidhart as usual, and they are all jacked up for this one and for Owen’s huge SummerSlam main event opportunity. The Kid then jogs out and we get under way with Kid leveling Owen with a leg lariat before the bell, a nice callback to Owen jumping him early back in Baltimore. Owen reversed a whip but whiffed on a charge and slammed hard into the ring post. Kid went right to work on the shoulder, twisting and twirling the Rocket around while also grabbing some near falls. The crowd fires up a loud “1-2-3” chant as Savage notes that Owen wants to manhandle the Kid to show up Bret, who had struggled. Owen gets a brief glimpse of offense before Kid pops him with an enziguri for two and then grabs a tight side headlock. After a smooth series of reversals, Kid remained in control until Owen was able to take him up and over with a back suplex. Owen started to go to work, leveling Kid with an enziguri for two before going to a rear chinlock. Kid worked free and came right at Owen with a dropkick, sending him to the floor. Kid followed with a baseball slide dropkick that wiped out both Owen and Anvil as Savage noted that nobody rises up on Monday Night like the Kid. Kid followed with a cross body off the top rope and the Hart boys were reeling as we headed to break.

After we returned, Owen climbed onto the ring apron and took Kid over to the floor with a great suplex that ended in a nasty bump. Owen then took to the air, flying into Kid with a high cross body block before slapping him around and running him into the ring post. Back inside, Owen started to target the lower back, using his power to batter Kid around the ring violently. Owen would grab a near fall after a perfect elbow off the second rope and then followed that up with a high back body drop and seated chinlock. Kid quickly worked out of that but Owen snapped him down with a neck breaker and headed to the top rope, however Kid averted disaster by rolling out of the way as the Rocket slammed his knees on the mat. Kid popped up and went to work on the legs, hooking in a single leg crab but before he could finish Owen off, Anvil slid in the ring and cracked Kid from behind for the DQ. After the bell, Anvil and Owen worked over Kid with Owen locking in the Sharpshooter as Anvil stomped away at his back. Damn, that was a tough ending to a really hot match, filled with well paced offense and stiff strikes and arial assaults. On a macro level, the finish made a lot of sense as it sets up SummerSlam and the need for a cage, showing what a lethal combination these two men are. But in a vacuum I would have loved a hotter finishing sequence to cap this off and bump it up a notch. Kid continues to shine on Raw and Owen Hart and Jim Neidhart seem to have their SummerSlam game plan ready to go. Grade: ***1/2

*** Todd Pettengil is here with our final Monday Night Raw SummerSlam Report. Of course, the show is just two weeks away inside the brand new United Center in Chicago. The show is delivered by Domino’s and here is the official card:

Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart – WWF Title Steel Cage Match

Undertaker vs. Undertaker
Razor Ramon w/ Walter Payton vs. Diesel w/ Shawn Michaels – WWF Intercontinental Title
Lex Luger vs. Tatanka
Alundra Blayze vs. Bull Nakano – WWF Women’s Title
Mabel vs. Jeff Jarrett
Headshrinkers vs. Bam Bam Bigelow & IRS – WWF Tag Team Titles

That is the complete card and the only way you can see is to call your cable company today! ***

Fun Fact: With the 1994 Major League Baseball strike looming, Steve Lombardi took the opportunity to introduce a new character. On the 7/16 episode of RAW, the WWF began advertising the debut of a new wrestler, Abe “Knuckleball” Schwartz. With the new character, Lombardi would paint his face to look like a baseball, would wear a jersey with the number “00” on it and would come to the ring to a carnival version of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”. The new character debuts tonight. Lombardi had also briefly worked a similar gimmick under the name MVP in late 1993.

*** We head back to earlier tonight before we went live when Abe “Knuckleball” Schwartz joined us to explain why Major League Baseball was going on strike. He says we can’t blame the owners because the fans are the ones that allow them to use taxpayer dollars to build elaborate stadiums. He also says you can’t blame the ballplayers for taking money for autographs because the fans are the ones offering the cash. The blame is squarely on the backs of the ignorant fans. ***

2) Duke Droese defeats Nick Barberry with a jumping elbow drop at 2:00

Scott: We had a SummerSlam Report before this, where Todd announced Alundra Blayze will defend the Women’s Title against Bull NAKANAKANO. We get an appearance from Walter Payton during the report, who will be in the corner of Razor Ramon in the IC Title match against Diesel. Oh, this match? Does it matter? Grade: DUD

JT: As we fire up our next match we see Abe Schwartz patrolling the crowd with his strike sign. Duke Droese then stops his way to the ring to battle Rhode Island’s own Nick Barberry. Duke starts off strong, hitting a powerslam and then hooking a chinlock on Nick. Savage and Vince talk about Duke’s ongoing issues with Jerry Lawler, a feud that has last quite a while without really going anywhere substantial. Duke eventually puts Barberry away with his jumping elbow drop. Keep on keeping on. Grade: DUD

*** We check in with Leslie Neilson, who is hanging out poolside, where he accidentally knocks Ray Rougeau into the pool. The bit is filled with puns and quips before Neilson comes to the conclusion that one of the Undertakers must be corrupt. It then turns out that the Neilson in the skit was a corrupt fake as the real Neilson shows up and says he will solve the case at SummerSlam. ***

*** Ted DiBiase joins the broadcast booth and takes shots at Leslie Neilson and says he has no chance to solve the case but DiBiase will shed more light on everything tonight on the King’s Court. Vince McMahon then promotes the SummerSlam hotline, where you can cast your opinion on whether or not Lex Luger sold out to DiBiase as well as hearing different interviews with SummerSlam participants about their matches. ***

3) Kwang defeats Tony Roy with a spin kick at :45

Scott: Tony Roy has the worst hair in jobber history. It’s thin and gross. Ted DiBiase is with Vince & Savage discussing Lex Luger. Speaking of Luger, on the SummerSlam Hotline you can vote on whether Luger indeed sold out to the Million Dollar Man. We talk about Luger vs. Crush on Sunday Night Slam this coming Sunday. The match was quick and nothing. Grade: DUD

JT: As Kwang and Harvey Wippleman head to the ring, Ted DiBiase sits in on commentary and says Lex Luger is his man. He also says Luger will warm up for Tatanka against Crush on this weekend’s Sunday Night Slam. Kwang pummels Tony Roy as DiBiase says Luger is in the Corporation and he will be in his corner this Sunday night. Savage doesn’t buy it but DiBiase vows it is a done deal. Kwang quickly finishes Roy with a spin kick. The match was nothing but this was all about DiBiase pushing the Luger angle along further. Grade: DUD

*** After a break, Jerry Lawler heads to the ring for this week’s King’s Court. Ted DiBiase is already in the ring and he and King take some shots at Vince McMahon and Randy Savage. Lawler reminds us that DiBiase was the man that brought the Undertaker to the WWF originally and he is the man that brought him back yet again. He says DiBiase has been subjected to ridicule and doubt by people like Paul Bearer, who claims DiBiase’s Undertaker is not the real one. DiBiase says Bearer has proven nothing and just delivered a bunch of hot air. Lawler then calls Bearer the “Goodyear Blimp” before bringing him out to join the conversation. Lawler tells Bearer that we have seen DiBiase’s Undertaker and have seen nothing out on the other side. Bearer says we have seen the evil Undertaker that he has purchased, tarnishing the good name that Undertaker spent years trying to build. Bearer says his Undertaker will destroy DiBiase’s at SummerSlam. DiBiase tells Bearer to deliver the message himself as he beckons his Undertaker to the ring as well. Bearer tells Undertaker that at SummerSlam, his eyes will be closed forever after the true Undertaker destroys him. DiBiase tells Undertaker to show Bearer what will happen at SummerSlam and Taker starts to choke Paul out. The lights would then start to flicker into darkness and the bell tolled, bringing a purple light to the arena. Once we could see again, Bearer was free and in the aisle, claiming the spirit of the Undertaker is here and that he will be at SummerSlam. *** 

 4) Mabel defeats Raymond Roy with an elbow drop off the middle rope at 2:32

Scott: Before this match on the King’s Court, Ted DiBiase’s Undertaker tried to choke out Paul Bearer, until the lights went out and Paul Bearer was suddenly at the aisle. That is the other big match at SummerSlam besides the World Title cage match. So, there’s two jobbers in the company with the last name Roy? The match is crap, as is Oscar’s abysmal rapping. Grade: DUD

JT: Up next we are joined by Oscar and Mabel as they rap their way to the ring for a battle against another native Rhode Islander in Raymond Roy. Vince and Randy discuss Mabel’s upcoming SummerSlam tilt with Jeff Jarrett, pointing out their musical variances as well as recapping what we just saw in the King’s Court. Mabel runs right through Roy, chucking him around before flattening him with an elbow drop off the middle rope for the win. Grade: DUD

5) Jeff Jarrett defeats Scott Taylor via submission with the figure four at 1:56

Scott: So our last two matches involve the two participants in a SummerSlam match. Jarrett is moving around the mid-card since debuting earlier in the year. This match is crap too, but it’s after the match that’s big, literally. Oscar and Mabel come back out and Jarrett challenges the big guy to get back in the ring. At least this match is getting some kind of juice for the PPV. Grade: DUD

JT: Our final match this week features Jeff Jarrett getting some SummerSlam prep in against Scott Taylor. It is good that Jarrett finally has some sort of feud even though there hasn’t been much build, if any, to this one. Vince plugs this weekend’s Sunday Night Slam slate, which includes a special segment where Vince and Jerry Lawler will take viewer calls. Jarrett jumped Taylor at the bell but Taylor would sneak in a bit of offense throughout this one. Vince and Randy cover off on some random WWF topics as Jarrett makes quick work of Taylor and wins it with the figure four. Grade: DUD

*** After Jeff Jarrett won his match, Mabel and Oscar reemerged, with Oscar calling out Jarrett via rap while Jarrett called Mabel a chicken, trying to bait him into the ring. ***

Final Analysis

Scott: This show should have been better. The matches were all crap and with it being the final Raw before SummerSlam (not counting the special) we needed more storyline advancement, particularly since it was a live episode there was no excuse to not have a great show. I understand the whole way they’re thinking with the Sunday Slam Special, but that’s not a good enough reason to not put a top notch show on with all the major players, especially since the Sunday Slam show is going to be taped. Why don’t they just use a live show for “Monday Night Slam”? With Raw now being a year and a half old, it’s time to start using this show as the anchor show and use the syndies as the backup stuff. For the last Raw before a major PPV, the King’s Court with DiBiase was the only thing that doesn’t flunk this for me. Final Grade: D

JT: This was a solid enough final Raw before SummerSlam, a show that opened with a red hot match and then was filled with plenty of last minute storyline hype for some of the biggest matches slated for Chicago. Ted DiBiase continues to dominate screen time and he will be involved in three big bouts at SummerSlam, showing that he has quickly ascended to the top manager slot in the promotion. Everything else was pretty by the book here, setting us for our final stop before Chicago this Sunday night with the Sunday Night Slam. Owen Hart vs. 1-2-3 Kid was a really good match, short of the bar set by the Hitman last month, but still really damn solid and one of the best we have seen on Monday nights since the show launched in January 1993 and that goes a long way on these short episodes. See you at the Slam! Final Grade: B-